The energy intensity of the NH economy (as measured by BTUs per dollar of real gross state product) continues to decline as it does in other states and the nation as a whole (chart below) . NH is among the bottom ten states in energy intensity as more of the value of what we produce is in the form of services and in goods that have more human and less energy content. In New England, only Maine is above the U.S. average in energy use per dollar of gross state product.
The second-half of the past decade saw especially large increases in energy prices in the U.S.. The nation als0 experienced a severe recession that reduced the demand for energy. Between 2004 and 2010, end-use energy consumption in NH (end-use consumption excludes energy used for electricity generation) declined by about 11%. Some of the recent declines in energy use in New Hampshire and the nation is the result of a severe recession as well as the impact of petroleum price increases. Some is also the result of energy conservation efforts, but whatever the prompt, economic, environmental, weather or other, some end-users have cut back much more than others. The chart below shows the percentage of total end use energy by type of end use in NH in 2004, along with the percentage of the reductions that each type of end use was responsible for between 2004 and 2010. Industrial use accounted for a disproportionate share of the reductions, in large part because of the recession and changes in the industrial mix in the state. But conservation no doubt also played a role. At the other end of the spectrum is the transportation sector which although accounting for one-third of consumption, accounted for only 7% of reductions in energy consumption in NH between 2004 and 2010. It is hard to imagine continued declines in energy use unless the transportation sector contributes more to the reductions.